Consumerism: Meaning, Importance, Examples & Overview

Consumerism: Human beings always keep the money as secondary when there is a desire to acquire material possessions whatever the financial situation is. Consumption, as we all know is one of the activities of the economy without which industrialisation cannot be achieved. But, when we consider society engaging in the consumption of goods, we cannot only speak about the fund that we possess but about the quality of well-being and the feeling of happiness that we receive. So, here let’s open up our broad view on the sociology of consumerism that will take the concept to a different line.

Why so important?

Do really consumption is that much important to be considered in an economy? What goes in while consuming goods? Does it carry the same feeling for both materialistic as well as non-materialistic belongings? For instance, if a middle-class woman goes to a departmental store to buy necessary household things for a month within a budget of Rs.1000, she will end up in paying Rs.1500 including the items that are not added in her glossary list. The extra amount of Rs.500 is her feeling of happiness that is intangible and also unavoidable. While spending the extra amount, she will not consider the class in which she is from but the amount of emotion that she obtains with those materialistic products.

The Functioning of social stratification:

  • The upper-class consumers are the minority in the group who are very few in number but are considered very powerful in society in means of holding money. They fulfil their inclinations immediately whenever it arises as they do not have a problem with money and the product.
  • The lower-class consumers are comparatively majority in the number who are very powerless as they do not hold money to even fulfil their basic needs. There arises no dilemma with such a division of people as their desires are much limited.
  • The pathetic situation is with those middle-class consumers who are not very powerful as like the 1st category procurers or very less powerless as the 2nd category people. With much more promotion of the products in the industries through advertisements and other means, these people are in the urge to consume all those goods even bearing unlimited debt in their name.

From this, we can understand the influence of consumerism in society which is divided on the bases of money in proportion to the pleasure that they need to secure.

 Who procures the benefits?

Consumption of goods is not only a matter of consumers but also the producers. In the industrialised society, it is momentous to keep the manufacturer’s and the buyer’s hand in hand till the end of the product reach the concerned person. While separating the two categories of people on the bases of capital that they invest, we end up in pushing one side of the people as owners and the other side as labours and automatically creating a capitalistic society. In such a situation, the benefits are more gathered in the place of owners. With many more increasing productions, the consumption in the targeted society eventually increases and results in the profit of the master and need to understand not for the benefit of the consumers on the whole.

Indeed, there is a result:

For instance, getting attracted to more and more advertisements, a person is spending money on recently launched the best new mobile phone in the market and reaps satisfaction. But, within a week, another phone is been launched and considered to be the best than the previous item. So, this person disposes the prior one and buys the new phone to attain maximum contentment. Will you think this chain of change stops at any point? That won’t happen, because of so much competition that exists in the society with the sociology of consumerism both in terms of production and consumption for accomplishing at least personal preference. Its end is the depression and the feel of not getting the desired material pushing us into the world in searching and obtaining the “next-best” product that enters into the market area.


With a divided social structure, it is impossible to reduce the need for consumption and also the sense of fortune of the people, without giving more value to the impact on their psychological aspects which are highlighted in the sociology of consumerism. To get rid of this is to come out of the shell of going behind the materialistic possessions and enjoy the natural environment by involving and communicating with people in person around us which will divert our mind to obtain well-being through consumption

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